Originally uploaded by claudiassurfcity.

They're havin a party. Sex, smoking, drinking, drugs permitted. For more info--you know who to ask.

real estate

Check it out: Dolores has put a bid in on the apartment I liked but she didn't. Yes, I'm talking the 260-degree view—Yankee Stadium, the Empire State Building, New Jersey et all. Mind you, there's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip, as she discovered with her last bid, but ya gotta stay in the game and keep trying for a home run. Or keep trying for a home.
This place requires no co-op board approval. It does, however, require a little fixup. Paint, floor covering, new kitchen cabinets. I can see that I'll be in Home Depot with dispatch, depending on whether she gets the place and how long it takes to close. Which brings me to my real reservation: see following blog entry.


carpenters wanted

This is the best help wanted ad I've ever seen:

If you drink, do drugs and don’t show up, you need not apply--you already work for us. Call Randy 304-4736
for other job opportunities in Key West

This will be my life in a year should I ever get this project off the ground. The prospect fills me with foreboding. Maybe I should buy a nail gun, then at least I'll show up.
In other construction news, the Mt. Airy Honeymoon Lodge in the Poconos is auctioning off its furnishings next weekend, including the Engelbert Humperdink room and scores of red heart-shaped bathtubs. Tell me, do you think I could pull off a red heart-shaped bathtub in my tasteful beach house or have I totally lost my mind? And where will I keep it in the meanwhile?


pea soup

I thought it was going to snow more than it did and therefore missed the window to read mysteries all day and eat the rest of the frozen pea soup made from the New Year's Day ham. Hopefully I'll be faster off the mark next time. Citichild came by on her way to work, carrying the laptop and her lunch. When we parted on the street corner—me to get my newspapers and go home, her to catch the subway to midtown, she said, "Well this is role reversal." Just yesterday my sister pointed out to me that none of the four siblings in our family has a regular job. There are a free-lance writer, a free-lance designer, a free-lance musician and a free-lance set carpenter. Citichild hopes to join our number one of these days. Per Dolores, she better get that mortgage and coop approval first.


baseball in the bronx

Who knew that so many people wish Roberto Clemente were with us today? At Latino Sports on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, the baseball star is memorialized in photographs with an 8-year-old JFK Jr. (odd that both would later die in plane crashes), in commemorative tickets, T-shirts and even on old boxes of cornflakes (some with the cereal still inside). You may wonder why I spent an hour plus in Julio's store. Well, Dolores has a brother whose 50th birthday is coming up, and he's a huge Clemente fan, so.
We also looked at real estate. Here's what $399,000 can buy in the Bronx: A beautiful 1890s brick row house with back yard and rental unit in the basement. At the first one we visited, we were looking around at the lavish murals on the wall (murals are big in the Bronx) as the lady of the house was on the phone with the police about a domestic violence report. She was telling them that she was very "estressed" when a knock on the door opened it to Two Enormous Cops. She almost dropped the phone. Dolores and I looked confused, and the First Cop said, "We're here to arrest everybody in the house." He quickly added, "Just kidding." Turned out they sell real estate in their lunch hour and were here to meet us about the property. Phew.
And here's what $155,000 can buy in the Bronx: A huge one-bedroom coop with a large terrace on the 18th floor overlooking Manhattan from the Empire State Building to Spitin' Divel and clear to New Jersey with a direct shot down to Yankee Stadium and the site of the new Yankee Stadium. You could watch the game in your bikini with a pair of binocs. And hear it too, probably. Also, the bathroom fixtures are daffodil yellow. There are murals (of course) and a fountain in the lobby and 24-hour doormen. And it's just up the street from Latino Sports. Great spot for a baseball fan. Maybe Dolores's brother will go for it. She doesn't seem convinced.


the dance

A gala night yesterday. You can tell that Dolores, Miss Party despite her monniker, is back. We hosted a birthday party, live jam and dance workshop. The Singer gave contra dance lessons. The Birthday Girl gave hula lessons, and Dolores and I followed as best we might (not my specialty). Ukulele and guitars were played, CDs were copied, most of the leftovers consumed. I'm sure my neighbors were happy when the party broke up at 2:30 ayem.

The dance of the permitting process continues as well. The latest:

Dear SepticMaestro: Any movement? Your friend, Claudia

I sent the application and plan into DEM on Weds. I'm sure we'll be getting
some crazy comments back in a couple of weeks or so. Keep your fingers crossed. Bye, SepticMaestro

Crossing my fingers and my legs, C

I don't think DEM would understand or appreciate that type of sacrifice. SM

And the Architect:

Architect: Any news? C

C: SepticMaestro left a message, looking for my mail address; left it on his vm. Yes you did send me form for buildings official; will complete when I receive revised site plan from SM. I'll take photos too, unless you already have them. Let me know on that. Are you in China? Architect

A: I do have photos. I don't think I can go to China til this CRMC application is in. Fuck me. C

This process will drive you crazy, so sit back and enjoy the ride, cuz nobody can make it go faster than it goes. Been dealing with the Fire Marshall.....I'll take CRMC and DEM over him anytime! Architect



My Timex is five minutes fast
My Rolex is five minutes slow
But whether future or past
Now is all you can know

I found a copy of Franny and Zooey in the basement and wondered how it would read after , say, 30 years. It's about New York City uberchildren having spiritual crises, something I know rather more about now than I did when I was 20, having grown up in the burbs. But I wonder whether in the development of any person, there aren't certain marks you have to hit, some sooner, some later. Marks like the spiritual crisis, the hedonistic period, the idealistic era, the arty infatuation, the materialistic phase, the analysis and ensuing rejection of family of origin, the illicit love affair—and all the rest. That's just up to age 25. And nobody seems to be able to learn by experience, alas. Certainly nothing much seems to have changed since 1955, when the book was written. Actually, i noticed the same thing when I recently reread The Group. Also that the types had not changed. So I'm left with be here now, and now, and now.
there's always chinese


surf's up

A new feature of my new site is that you can now check out your horoscope in the New York Post or the latest news with the links at the top. So before you do anything, surf over to Claudia's to catch that wave. Also, hit the word "comments" below, and post easily with your own stories and thoughts.


mad about saffron

Thanks to the Drummer

a walk in the park

The Drummer came in yesterday from Chicago, partly to see Christo's Gates, so today we went out rambling around. I think I was the only one in Central Park without a camera. Which reminded me of just how much time I have spent in the last 15 years or so waiting for photographers to find their pictures. I have waited for some of the world's legendary photographers as they wait for their moment. And now I get to wait for them as they try to go digital and learn to anticipate the moment and click the shutter some seconds in advance of the moment. This problem is known as capture delay. Which usually leads to the remark: "I hate this fucking camera." What, the Drummer asked me today, do I do while I wait for photographers? I used to try to figure out where they were aiming so that I could skip out of the frame. Then I tried to figure out what they were looking at so that I could see the world through their eyes. Now I just mainly space out. Or, as today, dig my hands deeper into my pockets and try to keep warm. My life in pictures. Christo and Jeanne-Claude



About 15 years ago, I was walking down the subway platform when I was stopped dead by one of the most ravishing voices I have ever heard. I thought of that Joni Mitchell song, "Playing Real Good for Free." When I quit riding the train regularly during rush hour, I missed hearing that voice. So the other day, when I got lucky and put some money in her guitar case I was happy to get a flier advertising a gig at the Cutting Room. Last night Dolores and I went, and even on Pseudofed (her), Kathleen Mock sounded fab. Most of the 35 people there knew her work from the subway. She told us that she came from Montgomery, Alabama, 18 years ago, makes about $50 an hour busking and plays almost every day. She also said she was madly in love with someone she met in the subway. Then she gave us about the fastest ride home in her white van I've ever had, Dolores telling her all the way that she had to write songs that are less lovelorn and more political. She says she only writes in agony. I know the feeling. www.mockmusic.com